On August 30, 2010, United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 37 rural utilities and cooperatives in 20 states will receive guaranteed loans in order to finance the construction and repair of nearly 7,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines.

USDA is providing $1.2 billion in funding through their Rural Development’s Electric Program. This program gives loan guarantees and loans to electric utilities to help improve rural America’s electric infrastructure through upgrades and expansions.  Each recipient must be a retail or power supply provider and must meet the specific requirements within the guaranteed loan agreement.  Other general requirements can be found on USDA’s website here.

The Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation was selected for the largest loan guarantee, a $620,960,000 guaranteed loan to make system improvements and complete emission control projects in existing generation facilities.  These projects will benefit Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas residents.

For a list of all loan guarantee recipients announced on August 30th, click here.